Foodbank is reaching out to villagers

A foodbank is opening a new centre in Pegswood to meet growing demand.

The Wansbeck Valley Foodbank currently has distribution bases in Morpeth, Ashington and Newbiggin for people in need to collect packs of food.

And from Wednesday, it will also offer a weekly collection point at Pegswood Community Hub in Longhirst Road.

Project Manager Linda Fugill said: “We feel there is a need for it. We are getting quite a few people who live in or around Pegswood coming to us now.

“We have had support from Pegswood Parish Council and the Community Hub has given us some space, which is great.

“We are slowly spreading out, but we are doing it one step at a time.”

The foodbank was set up by churches in December 2012 when they noticed more people were coming to them to help.

People are referred to the scheme by GPs, health visitors, Citizens’ Advice Bureaux and welfare professionals.

Last year it had almost 500 referrals and provided food for 634 adults and 376 children.

Demand continues to increase. In January there were 52 referrals and the latest figures for March show 71.

Mrs Fugill said: “The economy probably is picking up for some people, but that isn’t the case for a lot of people. Our referrals are increasing as people become more aware of the foodbank, but there is also more and more need.”

The Pegswood centre will be open every Wednesday, from 2pm to 4pm, for people who have been referred to collect food packs.